Another round of personnel moves for General Motors in Europe last week highlighted an issue that has dogged the automaker for a decade, if not longer.
What to do with Opel and Chevrolet?
GM CEO Dan Akerson admitted there have been "channel conflicts" between the two brands.
His appointment of Opel strategy chief Thomas Sedan as the head of Chevrolet and Cadillac in Europe is another attempt to define the swim lanes for the respective brands -- something that has eluded many GM executives.
The issue is simple: There's too much overlap between Chevrolet and Opel.
There's no question that GM's product has improved substantially, and there's no reason GM vehicles should not be on buyer consideration lists.
But the positioning of Chevrolet and Opel has been fuzzy, at best, and perpetually in a state of change. Without a clear differentiation between Opel and Chevrolet, Opel will remain a domestic German brand and Chevrolet will be lost in a battle to compete with a host of worthy competitors in Western Europe.
GM shouldn't fight itself for every sale. It should clearly, and finally, state the position of Opel and Chevrolet.
It won't be easy to shape new identities and perceptions for two historic brands.
But it's the only way to try to win. Again.